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Umbilical cord blood transplantation is a new way to treat blood cancer

Umbilical cord blood transplantation may replace bone marrow in the near future and become a new direction to treat blood cancer and other serious diseases, said Lai Yao-ji, a professor at the department of life sciences, tsinghua university, at a press conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Traditional bone marrow transplantation has been widely used in the treatment of leukemia (blood cancer), lymphatic cancer, immune deficiency and other dangerous diseases such as malignant blood diseases. However, in recent years, the medical application of umbilical cord blood stem cells has developed rapidly, and the number of cases using umbilical cord blood transplantation has been increasing. In the past 10 years, the number of cases of umbilical cord blood transplantation has increased by more than 10 times.

Another scholars attended the conference, professor, the Chinese university of Hong Kong and the Chinese academy of sciences academician Kong Xiangfu, also thinks the cord blood in the medical profession development potential, in the umbilical cord blood hematopoietic stem cells could be used in the treatment of various diseases of the blood system and immune system disease, umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells to treat cerebral palsy, stroke, infantile autism, optic atrophy, diseases such as diabetes, ataxia, bring patients new hope of treatment. He believes that with the continuous development of research and scientific technology, the application of stem cells in vitro to replicate human organs is not far away, which will benefit more patients.

Professor Lai added that with traditional bone marrow transplantation, it usually takes about two months or more for the donor to be matched. The donor needs to undergo anaesthetic surgery or may feel temporary discomfort and pain. The donor may withdraw at any time. When cord blood is transplanted, the matching time is greatly reduced to a few days, and suitable cord blood can be extracted from the blood bank at any time without the need for surgery on the donor. In case of emergency, suitable cord blood can be sent to the transplant center in less than 24 hours to gain more patients' benefit.

He added that umbilical cord blood donors had less than a 1 percent chance of latent viral infection and a lower rejection rate than bone marrow transplants, which increased the chances of successful surgery.
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